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Tax rise could force venues to close

The UK’s live music scene could face a major threat as taxes paid by music venues increases.

The organisers of Britain’s first live music census say a major overhaul of commercial property rates could lead to a huge rise in costs and force many venues to close.

Academic Dr. Matt Brennan, from the University of Edinburgh, says venues operating at grassroots level are particularly vulnerable.

“Venues around the country have been telling us that they already operate on thin margins,” he explains. “So proposed increases in relatable values of up to 55 per cent in some areas will have a significant impact.”

“The UK Live Music Census will be very important in identifying challenges that the industry faces, such as rising rates and other issues. It will give us a detailed picture of what exactly it means to be a venue owner, a musician, and a live music lover in 2017. Our hope is that the census will be a vital tool in strengthening a much-loved part of the UK’s culture.”

The UK Live Music Census is led by the universities of Edinburgh, Newcastle and Glasgow, and will take place for 24 hours from noon on Thursday (9 March) across the country in major cities.